Current guidelines are that, after 30 compressions, we should deliver two rescue breaths to the casualty. However, some people may be unwilling to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as it can be unpleasant or there may be added risks to the rescuer such as blood or vomit around the mouth.
Passing infection during mouth to mouth resuscitation is extremely rare, but a face shield or a pocket mask can be used to deliver breaths without skin-to-skin contact. If none is available and you are unwilling to perform mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose, then compression only CPR is acceptable.
Performing rescue breaths
- After 30 compressions, open the airway with head tilt / chin lift.
- Pinch the soft part of the casualty’s nose – using the index finger and thumb on the casualty’s forehead.
- Maintain chin lift but open the mouth.
- Take a normal breath in and place your lips around the casualty’s to make a seal.
- Blow steadily into the mouth for about 1 second until the chest rises.
- Maintain head tilt / chin lift, move your mouth away and watch as the chest falls.
- Repeat for a second rescue breath. The two breaths should be completed in less than 5 seconds.
- Without delay, place your hands back on the chest and deliver 30 more compressions. Then repeat the ventilations again.